The big issues that dominate Walsall's Green Party candidates' campaign

Written by on December 3, 2019

Tackling the climate emergency and creating a fairer society are top priorities for Walsall’s Green Party in this month’s general election.

The party is fielding candidates in the three borough constituencies – Bill McComish in Aldridge-Brownhills, Mark Wilson in Walsall North and John Macefield in Walsall South.

All of them are united in their belief that the environmental crisis is the biggest challenge faced by the planet.

But they said there are a host of other issues that need to be addressed in Walsall such as ending homelessness and austerity, improving education and providing better housing.

John Macefield, who is standing in Walsall South for the Green Party.

John Macefield, who is standing in Walsall South for the Green Party.

Opposition to Brexit

They are also clear on their opposition to Brexit and will push for a second referendum – despite residents across Walsall voting to leave the EU.

Mr Macefield works as a benefits and revenues officer at Walsall Council which he believes gives him an insight into the town’s problems.

He said: “I understand the challenges the area is facing, I’m standing for parliament as I want to speak up about these issues.

“It’s wrong that people have to sleep rough. Addiction issues and mental health are significant barriers to people getting a place they can live in. It doesn’t have to be this way.

(Image: iStockphoto)
“Some cases aren’t easy but we must provide the help and support to help people through the difficult times in their lives.

“We are the only party who will take the action needed to address the Climate Emergency.

“We will invest in every community in the UK to provide skills and jobs with real prospects to insulate all homes and retrofit the 20 per cent of homes that aren’t fit to live in.

“This will bring healthier communities and ease the chronic conditions which restrict lives. It is possible to deliver a fairer, better society, we just have vote for it.

End of austerity is a ‘lie’

“The idea that austerity and cuts are over is another Conservative lie. Walsall Council are still planning job cuts 10 years after the financial crisis. Walsall deserves better.”

He added: “Voters in Walsall helped elect our first ever Green Party MEP in May. If you want Green then vote Green.

“We need a People’s Vote and we would campaign to remain in the EU. Our approach is to be tough on Brexit and tough on the causes of Brexit.

“We’ve spent a lot of time speaking with and listening to voters across the West Midlands, in May we won Council seats in areas that voted strongly to leave, places like Cannock and South Staffs.

“We understand the reasons people voted to leave – they were left behind, they were ignored and they were forgotten.

“The Green New Deal is an exciting opportunity to address this, we will insulate every home, fully retrofit a million homes a year and build 100,000 council houses a year.

“Every community across Walsall borough would benefit from better housing and the new jobs and careers which would come from this investment.”

Cllr Mark Wilson, a Green Party councillor for Smith's Wood.

Cllr Mark Wilson, a Green Party councillor for Smith’s Wood. (Image: Solihull Council)

The most important issue facing humanity

Mr Wilson is currently a councillor in Solihull and has family living across Walsall. He said his Black Country upbringing, varied working career and personal circumstances shaped his politics.

He was re-elected in Smith’s Wood in May this year – an area where 68 per cent of residents voted Leave in 2016.

Councillor Wilson said: “I stand in the election to argue that the Climate Emergency is the most important issue facing humanity in this century and to offer a fair and just society that offers decent health care, housing, and education for everyone.

“My values have been further shaped by my own personal experience – caring for my disabled wife.

(Image: Birmingham Live)
“I support a second referendum and remaining in the European Union, to reform it from within. We need a People’s Vote and would campaign to remain in the EU.

“The referendum result was a clear sign that the communities which voted to ‘leave’, were the ones which felt they needed to shake up the political system.

“The same old politics had clearly not worked for them and they voted to create some kind of change. Many communities felt left behind and are forgotten and ignored by Westminster.

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General Election 2019 – Walsall

“They need to be listened to and their concerns about their neighbourhoods and families be acted upon.

“The Green Party approach is to work with communities, ‘doing politics with people’ and not ‘to them’.

For experienced football referee Mr McComish, his various jobs and time as a student saw him live in eight different countries across Europe.

As well as tackling climate issues, providing better education, housing and health care, he firmly believes Brexit will have a devastating impact on Walsall and the rest of the UK.

Bill McComish, who is standing in Aldridge Brownhills for the Green Party.

Bill McComish, who is standing in Aldridge Brownhills for the Green Party.
He said: “I respected the result of the 2016 Referendum and genuinely thought Britain would have formally left the EU by now.

“However as the Government has failed to do this, or to co-operate with other parties to reach a compromise, I think the public should have another chance to vote on this single though crucial issue in a further referendum.

“Of course most voters locally chose Leave. I am honest with them- I think leaving would be bad overall for the area and the country, and I am certain that any post-Brexit trade deals with other countries will take years to complete.”

Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via Birmingham Mail - Cannock News

From: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/black-country/big-issues-dominate-walsalls-green-17355259


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